Birth of the Aetherverse – Chapter 9 (Serial Story)


Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12


Chapter 9: Some family reunions are just awkward. 

“Where are the Sisters?” I asked. They were powerful beings, and from what they’d said, tied to Albion. 

The alarm bells rang and soon even over their cacophony I could hear the pipers and drummers of Fay. 

Merlin took charge and gave everyone orders. He, Oberon, and Titania would start evacuating the people to Everworld and Earth. Icaryoe, Arthur, the Guardians, and the soldiers of Albion would slow down the armies of Fay.

“What about me?” asked Randi.

“You and Robin must go protect the Sisters. They are the Enaid of Albion. They are trying to force it into a dormant state. That would close all roads in or out and trap the Fay army here.”

“What happens to someone who stays in a dormant Realm?” I asked.

“They also become dormant for the rest of their natural lives. Which in this case, is not a problem. It’ll give us time to figure out what to do with Melchior.”

Merlin wasn’t lying, but he was holding something back. Despite that, I trusted him.

An Enaid is the soul or life force of a Realm. When the Sisters were banished from Everworld by that Realms gods they founded Albion.

My siblings and I are the Enaids of Fay, and without us the Realm would shrivel up and die. The Aetherium Crystals of Everworld is their Enaid. I’m not sure about the other realms. The gate crystal was Atlantis’ and as for Earth, I only had theories. It could be the ruby crystal I saw at the beginning of time, or the man. I really don’t know. 

Merlin directed us to the centre of the castle where we’d find a staircase all the way to the altar of the Enaid. The three Sisters were sitting in a triangle holding hands and chanting in unison. 

“We should prepare,” Randi told me.

I conjured up my armour, a suit of unbreakable glass, and my glass sword. The armour and sword refracted the light and caused rainbows when I moved. I also had a mirrored shield that reflected magic. I’d used the set rarely, but it had always been effective.

Randi smiled warmly and with a complicated hand motion summoned leather armour that was so black it absorbed the light, and twin swords that seemed to be made of pure red fire. 

We were a terrifying pair, at least I thought so. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see how it affected a regular soldier of Fay. 

The only person who saw us was Melchior as he raced down the stairs. Stopping at the sight of us and said, “Hello, Uncle. Are you planning on protecting these three wastes of power?”

“Yes. Until they are done. Why don’t you give up this quest? You can’t win.” I started working some magic as subtly as I could.

He laughed at me and spoke slowly, like a condescending teacher, “I will devour the Realms and use that power to rebuild Fay in my image. You can be part of that, or you can die.”

“You lack imagination, nephew. Destroying all of reality to rebuild it in your image? That sounds like a lot of work and years of repetitiveness. I love myself! I think I’m the second best company I’ve ever had other than Randi, but even I don’t want a universe in my image. Yuck.”

He sneered and was all the stereotypes of villains throughout the ages. Kinda dull, full of himself, and driven. “You don’t understand.”

“What if I told you there were other universes and I could take you to one where you could conquer to your heart’s content?”

“You’re lying, and if you’re not, I’ll find out when I control everything.” Randi laughed and Melchior turned red. “What’s so funny?”

She sheathed her two swords and said, “You truly believe you can control all of creation? You’ll be devoured by the Aether and everything will end.”

“I will not!” He paused, cocking his head with a puzzled expression. It took him significantly too long to realize what had happened.

As we’d talked, I’d created illusionary doubles of me, Randi, and the Sisters. While I did it, Randi cast a teleport spell.

“No!” he screamed as the telepathic link I had with my double was cut off.

The Sisters gave me a scathing look and said, “You distracted him instead of fighting him. Why?”

Their chorus effect was disconcerting, but I tried not to show it. “I could win in a fair fight, but there was no way he’d fight fair.”

“Great heroes don’t use deception, but we can’t argue with your results,” they said condescendingly.

I nodded and retorted, “I’ve been many things, a god, a trickster, a lover, a frog, and a Guardian, but I’ve never been a hero.”

I found the rest of the Guardians at Pakaha castle. High King Jaques had created a round table for us to meet. I was glad they’d all made it out. Unfortunately, Arthur hadn’t, but one day when Albion returned fully, so would he.

“It’s only a matter of time before he escapes Albion,” said Morgana and we trusted her word.

“How can we beat him if he can syphon the power of Fay, our Power?” asked my brother.

That gave me an idea. “Why don’t we transfer all our power into rings? That will cut it off from Fay. It would also mean that Fay could survive past our deaths. The rings would act as Enaids and delay the inevitable destruction of Fay.”

Titania added, “And in times of great peril, we could give one person all the rings and they could be the champion of Fay.”

“That’s easy for you to say, you have your power as Guardian.” Oberon eyed me suspiciously. 

Merlin cleared his throat and said, “Actually, being a Guardian doesn’t give you power, it gives you awareness of your guardianship.”

It was decided that Oberon, Titania, Randi, and I would transfer our power into rings and we’d choose a champion to fight Melchior and strip him of his powers.

Merlin was the best versed in the creation of magical artifacts and he said, “I’ll teach you how to do it. Four rings unto the Fay.” He smirked and said, “Just call me Celebrimbor… but with honourable intentions.”   

Read Chapter 10 (October 2022)


While you wait for the next chapter, check out the previous serial stories:

Secret Headquarters – JenEric Movie Review

How This WorksRead Other Reviews

Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film Secret Headquarters.

Story

A very simple and effecient story that uses everything that it sets up. It’s not groundbreaking writing but it is solid and well thought out.

Score: 1

Characters

An impressive young cast that balances comedy, action, and drama extremely well. I really enjoyed the evolution of the soldier. I liked the pseudo villain being a rich dude with too much greed. Although the Kill a Minion to show I’m a Jerk trope was a little overdone.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The movie leaned heavily into comedy and has a lot of great lines. The comedy was balanced well with beleivability.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The special effects were amazing and the locations suitibly YA. I found the camera work excellent and it emullated other hero movies excellently.

The music was significantly better than I had expected.

Score: 1

Fun

Despite a few awkward moments the movie is fun from start to finish. Everyone in the family loved it and the kids forgot to ask for snacks.

Score: 1

Overall

A light YA movie that meshes the humour of 80’s kids movies with the action and special effects of modern superhero films. A lot of fun with some amazing kid actors.

Final Score: 4.5 Stars out of 5

Guitar Lessons Part 60

June 21: IMHO

I played my acoustic today. Gosh, it’s pretty.

I practised the walking song, “Get to Know You,” and the wedding song again.

The wedding song sounded so good today!

I hit every rhythm, every volume change. I wish I’d been recording.

June 22: Heavy

I played the electric today. It’s so heavy. I sit down to play because I can’t stand the weight on the strap. I can barely lift it off the hook on the wall.

I’m sure my arm being sore might account for some of the trouble I’m having with it.

But it doesn’t hurt my arm to play it, and that’s what’s important right now.

We’re looking at getting me a hybrid that has smaller depth like the electric and is lighter like the acoustic.

I played the walking song, “Get to Know You,” and the ballad.

I know, the ballad!

I wanted to see if my arm hurt after playing its quick strum rhythm. It doesn’t hurt more than it did before I started, so I’m calling it a win.

June 23: Sometimes

I played the electric today. It started off great; I played the melody line for Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers and it sounded perfectly in tune. Even the walking song sounded fine.

But then “Get to Know You” started sounding off-key, and I had to stop after only one chorus of the wedding song. I checked the tuning and it’s fine.

I have no idea what’s going on with that.

Any ideas?

I finished up by playing the walking song on the soprano ukulele.

Which, btw, I have not posted a picture of!

Here’s my little Stitch (daughter) with the ukulele.

Image
Dragon with the new soprano ukulele (it glows in the dark!)

June 24: Eek

My real mother’s day gift came in today. Originally, we had ordered a hybrid guitar from a German company. I was really excited about it, but it wasn’t coming in until June. But my arm was hurting when I played my acoustic, so I couldn’t wait.

So we got my pink electric guitar.

It was super cool, and it didn’t hurt to play, but it had a lot of negatives; it was heavy, I had issues with the tuning, it was full-sized.

Well, we gave up on the German one. It updated and said it wasn’t coming in until August or September.

@ericdesmarais scoured guitar companies and found me a replacement, and it came in today!

It’s a hybrid, so the amp I have works with it when I’m going to record, but tbh, it sounds great even without it. It’s light, the tuning is great, and it’s travel-sized. And it doesn’t hurt my arm.

So we’re selling the electric, because I will never want to play it now that I have this hybrid.

It’s blue, btw.

Isn’t it pretty?

My new guitar! Yes, it’s blue.
It’s 3/4 size, so it matches my first guitar. I still like the sound best from my first guitar, but I love my new one!

June 25: Hybrid

I played my new hybrid guitar today.

I really love it.

I practised the walking song, “Get to Know You,” and the wedding song. And then I played the walking song again because @ericdesmarais said he couldn’t hear my singing the first time.

The hybrid is louder than the electric guitar, even not plugged in.

I’ll get used to it.

I love the size of the hybrid.

Very happy.

So we’re selling the electric. Pick up only because shipping is ridiculous.

June 26: Quick

I had like, ten minutes before my dad picked us up for Sunday dinner today to play. I quickly tuned the hybrid and then played the walking song without music.

I had to backtrack a couple times because I forgot the words, but I’m happy to say that I played the right chords at the right times. I think.

It sounded right, so that’s what matters, right?

Health Update September

Hello Friends, Family, and Fans,

No video update today. It’s a lot of set up and a lot of editing.

To catch up, here’s my first health update and here’s my second health update.

Good news is that I got an appointment with my doctor in mid-September… sort of. He called after my wonderful wife made him understand what was going on. (She was at an appointment with him for Dragon.) I thank every deity and afterlife for how awesome my wife is.

I do not have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or tendinitis. According the the specialist, I have a form of Myofascial Strain,, maybe Myofascial Pain Syndrome. (The treatment is the same, apparently.)

I have been cleared for a limited amount of typing. If it starts to hurt more I have to stop. It’s gone from extreme pain after 5-10 minutes in June to heavy pain after 20-30 minutes of typing. Position, equipment, and posture are a big factor.

Speaking of posture… there’s a mild numbness in my left pinky and arm. My doctor says its a low end of pain, but my physio worries that it’s something to do with my neck. I saw a massage therapist who agrees with her, but I have to say I wasn’t a fan of the pain after the massage.

As for pain, the intense physio is working. When I started in June, I was in so much pain I had trouble thinking or doing anything at all. Now I’m always aware of the pain but I can concentrate on other things and do stuff. It’s not great, but it’s better. I still have trouble sleeping and some days are worse than others. Thursday I had trouble not crying and I just wanted to curl into a ball.

So overall, I’m doing better, but I’m not going to be playing ukulele for a while or writing 1000 words a night. Sigh.

Thanks for reading,

Éric

Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers – Recipes

Hello Readers,

As a special treat, we wrote up a few recipes from our latest book Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers. They were published on the All Lit Up Blog,

The recipes are Moose Balls in Primavera sauce and Chocolate and Chilli Brownies.

Go check it out and enjoy.

Thank you, and if you make the recipes, let us know.

Jen and Éric

Thor: Love and Thunder – JenEric Movie Review

How This WorksRead Other Reviews

Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film Thor: Love and Thunder.

Story

The actual story was fairly simple and straightforward. There was a lot of humour and a lot of emotion. Sometimes it felt like the flow between scenes was missing something and there were more than a few parts that could have been extended. It felt like they had 6 hours of story and only 2 hours made it to the final cut.

Score: 0

Characters

Somewhere along the way in the MCU, Thor went from slightly oblivious jock / rich kid to a dim-witted fool. Every movie, it feels like he has to relearn how to be worthy and honestly, it’s getting old.

The addition of the Mighty Thor made things more interesting, but I have to say the whole romance was a little meh for me.

I liked the relationship between Jane and Valkyrie and loved the cameos by Sif and Heimdall.

The villain stole the show, however. He was both relatable and if it wouldn’t have killed Thor, I would have been okay with his plan. His redemption at the end through the power of love felt earned and not like a cheap plot trick.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The quips and dialogue were excellent, but the imbalance in tone made some scenes comical or just weird.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

Visually this movie was a feast for the eyes. Absolutely gorgeous in every way.

The music was clever and well placed.

Score: 1

Fun

Once I got used to the fact that the movie would be all over the place in tone, I started to enjoy each piece like short films. The last scene with the kids was just so empowering. I loved it.

Score: 1

Overall

The tone is all over the place, the story feels disjointed, the love story was meh, but damn this movie was still a lot of fun. The dialogue and action are spectacular and Christian Bale makes a relatable and fantastic villain.

Final Score: 3 Stars out of 5

Guitar Lessons Part 59

June 15: Feels good

I played my acoustic again today. Gosh, I missed it.

I played the walking song, “Get to Know You,” and the wedding song. I modified a chord from D to D7 in the verse. I like it SO much better now. It’s got that right sound.

After those three, I was ready to stop.

But my daughter was sad. “But I want to dance!”

Not a problem. I’ll put on music.

“But I like your music better.”

Wow. Thank you.

I was afraid to overdo it with my arm though, so I had her grab the soprano ukulele and I played the walking song again. She danced, my son danced and sang along.

He’s been consistently asking only for my songs as bedtime songs.

It feels really good that my kids like my songs. And they’re exposed to lots of really great music.

June 16: Hands

I had a really hard time stretching my fingers enough to reach the proper chord today. Not unusual chords or anything; a C. I play C chords all the time. They’re in every song. But today, my fingers just weren’t having it.

🤷🏻‍♀️

I practised the walking song and “Get to Know You” on the acoustic.

Then I practised the walking song again on the soprano ukulele.

June 17: So sweet

I played my acoustic today again.

I practised the walking song, “Get to Know You,” and the French song.

It had been a while since I played the French song, and it went really well, both the playing and the singing, so that was nice.

Then I played the walking song again on the tenor ukulele.

After I was finished, I packed up, and then my son brought me the soprano ukulele, because that’s what I’ve been using the past few days.

So cute.

Btw, last night after I sang him the walking song, he asked me what a bunch of words in it meant. Like, I finished singing, and then he went through it without me reminding him of words, and asked me their meanings.

People.

He’s not even 3yo yet.

Sure, it’s not exactly a complicated song, but it’s not like it’s a nursery rhyme!

He asked what “drank his brew” meant. (Wizard brew)

He’s so good with music it’s a little intimidating.

June 18: Sore

My arm was sore today, so I played the electric (and the soprano ukulele at the end).

I practised the walking song, “Get to Know You,” and the wedding song.

I’m not 100% sure about the change I made to the chords in the wedding song the other day. I’ll have to play it again another day to see.

I still really love all my songs. That’s pretty great, IMHO.

June 19: Pain

I overdid it. Not with guitar, but I went to the park with my kids and husband.

We played with a soccer ball (I won’t say we played soccer, because with an almost 3yo and a 5.5yo, you can’t really do that).

It was a lot of fun.

But I overdid it and my chronic back injury (lumbar, in case you’re curious) flared up.

I couldn’t even brush my hair after my shower. Do you notice how much you use your back muscles when you brush your hair?

Needless to say, I did not play guitar at my usual time today and thought that I wouldn’t be able to play at all today.

But after we put the kids to bed, I played the walking song on the electric (not plugged into the amp). It was nice to be able to play, even if it was only the one song. I couldn’t have played any more even if I’d wanted to, though.

Oh, and I didn’t use the sheet music!

June 20: Allergies

How do performers deal with allergies?

Everything sounded off, my voice kept cracking…

In short, it was frustrating.

I played the walking song, “Get to Know You,” and the wedding song on the electric again.

Afterwards, I played the walking song on the soprano ukulele.

Dear Dragon – Welcome to Level 6

Dear Dragon,

In some ways, this has been an exciting year, and in others it’s been a lot of the same.

You finished senior kindergarden and were really sad to say goodbye to your teachers. You learned a lot of things this year.

  • You can count and recognize numbers in both languages.
  • You’re an (eggs)pert at cracking eggs.
  • You can recognize your letters in both languages with only a little trouble with U in French.
  • You learnt to read this summer. It was slow and you didn’t want to, but now you’re pretty good at it. Your French reading is also doing well.
  • You helped me garden.
  • We played all of Yoshi’s Crafted World together, and most of Kirby and the Forgotten Land before I hurt myself.
  • You learned to play multiple songs on the piano.

You’ve learned a lot more, but that’s what’s on the top of my head.

Excitingly, this past year has seen both you and your brother fully vaccinated against covid-19. It’s a big relief for evertyone.

We had planned on putting you into in person school once your brother was vaccinated, but we missed the deadline and you’re in digital school again this year. It has its advantages; mostly the class size and extra sleep. You have about 12 kids in your class which means you get a lot more attention and help.

You had your first playdate in almost 3 years and it went great. It was a friend from your digital class. We’re hoping to bring you for a day at Can-Con and it’ll be nice to do things with you out of the house.

You’ve grown so much this past year and I love who you are. Every day I get to spend with you and your brother makes me happy. I hope that when you look back on the past 3 years that you have happy memories of us being together as a family. I know I will.

Happy Birthday Little Dragon!

I love you,

Papa